The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

What Apple loses without Steve

Photo

steve_jobs


-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

"There's probably no God" runs the slogan of an advertising campaign humanists are running on buses across Britain. But if the supreme being has his doubters, few question the importance of Steve Jobs to Apple Inc.

In a letter to employees on Wednesday, the Apple co-founder said he would take himself "out of the limelight" for six months after learning in the past week that his still vaguely defined "health issues" are "more complex than I originally thought."

While Jobs paints his absence as a temporary medical leave -- he retains the Apple CEO title even as he steps aside -- his departure leaves a spiritual void at a company most people think of as inseparable from the man.

The miraculous career of the prophet of the personal computer revolution, the self-made billionaire known for a career of second acts, draws frequent religious parallels: one biography of him is entitled "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs".

from The Great Debate:

In Gaza war, lions led by donkeys?

Photo

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own -

It's not often that a senior member of Washington's usually staid and cautious foreign policy establishment likens Israeli political leaders to donkeys and questions their competence. But the fighting in Gaza prompted Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies to do just that.

"Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel's action seriously damage the U.S. position in the region, and hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process? To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.

from The Great Debate:

Revival of U.S. automaking awaits if UAW will follow Toyota

Photo

morici-- Peter Morici is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The views expressed are his own. --

General Motors and Chrysler are on the anvil of history. United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger holds the hammer and will determine whether they emerge more competitive or shattered in pieces and sold to foreign investors.

from The Great Debate:

Pension assumptions hitting the wall

Photo

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

That 8 percent annual return on investment you and your pension fund manager were banking on is now looking almost as optimistic as Madoff's magic 12 percent, as deleveraging and deflation bite.

With extremely low or negative interest rates and everyone from consumers to banks trying to shed debt and assets at the same time, what seemed like reasonable projections for a mixed portfolio of stocks, bonds and other assets are now substantially too high.

from The Great Debate:

Global imbalances and the Triffin dilemma

Photo

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

For the world monetary system, the financial crisis which erupted in the summer of 2007 is a cataclysmic shift that will prove every bit as significant as the outbreak of the First World War (which heralded sterling's demise as a reserve currency) and the suspension of gold convertibility in 1971 (which marked the end of bullion's monetary role).

The crisis marks the passing of an era in which the U.S. dollar has been the world's undisputed reserve currency for making international payments and storing wealth.

from The Great Debate:

Ukraine gas crisis spurs EU energy policy

Photo

Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has left hundreds of thousands of Europeans shivering in the winter cold is bound to accelerate plodding European Union efforts to build a common energy policy.

The cut-off of Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine highlighted how little progress the 27-nation EU has made in connecting national energy networks and diversifying supplies since the first such crisis three years ago.

from The Great Debate:

Do tough times draw TV-viewers to Web?

Photo

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

In the first global recession of the Internet Age, budget-conscious consumers are showing they no longer have an endless appetite for every new gadget or media service.

Many users are looking to eliminate overlapping services that offer more of the same old formula entertainment in a different package or on another device.

from The Great Debate:

Of boom, bust but maybe not the Black Death

Photo

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

As the crisis has deepened we've had to search farther back in history for precedents, and with deflation at hand much of the debate now centers on how similar the next while will be to the Great Depression.

But what if, rather than the 1930s, we ought to be thinking about the revolutionary crisis of the 18th century, or even further back to the 14th century lending and spending spree that ended with the Black Death?

from The Great Debate:

China’s growth obsession may spawn jobless upturn

Wei Gu -- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

China is pulling all the stops to keep the economy growing by at least 8 percent, a pace considered necessary to absorb millions of migrant workers and graduates that hit the job market every year.

Ironically, with all its attention focused on the vigorous "defense of the eight", Beijing risks losing sight of its ultimate goal -- creating enough jobs to preserve social peace -- and may end up engineering a jobless recovery.

from The Great Debate:

EU enters lame duck year amid challenges

Photo

Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The European Union is entering a lame duck year just as new challenges are mounting from Israel's assault on Gaza, Russia's gas cut-off to Ukraine and the impending inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The EU's active crisis management in the Georgia war and the global financial meltdown last year under the energetic leadership of French President Nicolas Sarkozy was an exception, not the dawn of a new, more effective Union.

  •